Dublin Horse Show under way

The 140th Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show began today and runs until Sunday, August 11. With a fantastic line-up of music and entertainment, arts and crafts, fashion, shopping, gourmet food and the best in national and international equestrian competitions, you won’t want to miss it!

Among the highlights include:

Scurry Racing: New for 2013, scurry racing involves pairs of ponies pulling light weight racing carriages, galloping and weaving through cones at break neck-speed. It is fast, furious and one of the most exciting, action-packed equestrian sports in the world.

Daring drivers urge their ponies on to notch up the fastest time, while their grooms lean out, battling to keep the carriages balanced. Each day at the Show, these fearless double-harness scurry ponies, will race in the Main Arena, through sets of cones just 1 inch wider than the carriage wheels.

Musical entertainment: Soak up the sounds of summer while you relax on the Band Lawn. This year we have music to suit all tastes with the Vila Manila, Manila Strings, the lively four piece band, Rainbow, traditional Irish group, Aris Arun and crowd favourites, the Garda Band, who always add to the atmosphere on Aga Khan day.

Fashion and Style: Thursday, 8 August is Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day.  Judges Rachel Wyse and Susan Loughnane will be looking for entrants who display unique and individual style while RTE’s Off the Rails Brendan Courtney will act as MC. This year’s Best Dressed Lady will win a fantastic trip for two to New York worth €8,000 and there are fantastic prizes for other categories including a Longines watch for ‘Elegance is an Attitude’ and weekends hotel stays for the ‘Most Colourful Outfit’ and ‘Most Creative Hat’. Even the men get in on the action with a Louis Copeland suit for the ‘Best Dressed Man’!

Kids’ Entertainment: The Hamleys Kids’ Zone is fun for everyone. Located to the rear of the Grand Stand, the kids will be entertained all day with fun inflatables, nail painting, arts & crafts demonstrations, face painting, pony rides and much more! In the Band Lawn area, Johnny d’Juggler and Billy Bubbles perform magic tricks and there are Punch & Judy Shows in addition to story time from the Hamleys Bear.

Delicious treats: To compliment various family friendly restaurants, champagne & seafood bars and as part of the Gourmet Food Village, a new concept at this years’ Show is ‘Street Food’ which has various influences and inspirations. It is generally considered to be artisan food sold on the streets, or more accurately, not served from restaurants or cafés. The RDS Food Village will include food outlets such as Wok to Walk, Paella, The Griddle, Philly Chicken, Lettuce Eat, Traditional Fish’n’Chips, Artisan Pizza, Homemade Ice Cream & Confectionery, Artisan Sandwiches, Gourmet Sausages, Pulled Pork and Salad in a Box.

Shopping: With more than 300 trade stands from around the world offering art and antiques, jewellery, fashion, house and home ideas plus equestrian offerings, visitors can shop all day long! There are plenty of bargains to be had so come ready to haggle.

All things Equine: With a total prize fund of over €942,000,  the 2013 show has a particularly full programme with 125 classes and competitions in total, 80 Showing classes, 31 National Show Jumping classes and 14 International Show Jumping Competitions. The international jumping competitions include the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup™ presented by Longines on Friday, August 9, the Land Rover Puissance on Saturday, August 10 and the Longines International Grand Prix on Sunday, August 11. Visitors can also enjoy the Pony Club Games and the Hunt Chase which take place over the weekend.

The world renowned natural horseman, Honza Blaha will also be at the Show. Honza will demonstrate his alternative training techniques with horses Maxim, Quorum and Conte performing various feats including dramatic flying lead changes, pirouettes, sliding stop and spins and jumping without any reins.

Arts & Crafts Exhibition: The RDS National Crafts and Student Art Winners Exhibition will be held in the RDS Concert Hall during the Show, with the prize winning pieces and works of excellence from the annual RDS National Crafts Competition and the RDS Student Art Awards on display.

Visitor Judging: Do you know how to pick a winner? At this year’s Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11, you can select your winners in the judging rings and if it corresponds with the judges choices, you win €1,000! The Public Judging Competition encourages visitors to demonstrate their judging skills. All visitors have to do is pick up an entry form at the Show Rings and choose their winning line up of horses from a select number of classes taking place during each day of the Show.

For further information on the 2013 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, please visit its website here.